LIONS have today confirmed the high-profile appointment of former Scotland captain Budge Pountney as successor to long-serving director of rugby David Dunn.

As exclusively revealed by the Daily Echo via Twitter this afternoon, ex-Northampton flanker Pountney will officially take charge at the National Two South club on July 1.

Southampton-born Pountney started his rugby in the Winchester junior set-up before going on to win 31 caps during a distinguished and trophy-laden career in the professional ranks.

A former director of rugby at Northampton, Pountney has also worked as an independent citing officer for the Rugby Football Union and currently teaches and coaches rugby at Totton College.

Lions confirmed that Dunn was stepping down due to “career requirements” after more than a decade with the Dorset club, during which time he guided Bournemouth up the levels.

Following a series of meetings between Pountney and Lions’ hierarchy, the change was confirmed at a final meeting last night.

Pountney said: “I am delighted to be joining Bournemouth and to be part of the pride of the Lions.

“They are the leading club in the region, with a first team which has done really well to play at national level, but I know the club is still ambitious.

“I look forward to being part of more good things in the future, starting from our first home league match next season on September 7.”

Bournemouth chairman Denis Eveleigh, who paid tribute to Dunn’s sterling work at the club, said: “This is a highly positive move for Bournemouth rugby. Budge will not only seek to improve the first XV’s approach and strengthen their position in National Two South, but he will oversee all the coaching and player development for the club.

“We have three other senior teams, two colts teams and a host of players from under-sixes upwards in our thriving Youth & Mini Section. Budge has the background and experience to influence them all. Maybe, he can help us grow our own stars of the future.”

Meanwhile, Eveleigh confirmed that player-coach Tim Collier was “very much still involved” at the club. The full coaching team is due to be announced following a meeting with players tomorrow night.